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Mom's Apron

Story ID:6875
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Dillon Montana United States
Year:2011
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Momís ApronÖ
By Chuck Dishno
2010
My mother, Lura, was a delightful lady who actually led several separate lives. Mom was born in 1897 in Missoula, Montana. Her mother and my delightful Grandmother, Etta, was the daughter of a prominent professor at Vashon College in Washington. Even though Etta didnít have a college education, she was very bright and devoted her life to music. This is the environment my Mom grew up in and had just as much love for music as her mother. They were also very religious people.
My Momís first life included acquiring a husband and two boys in her early 20ís. Her husband came from a fairly wealthy family so that part of her life was comfortable. Unfortunately, her husband was a mean man and at the suggestion of his Mother, Mom left him and moved back to Missoula with the two boys. Her Father had died while she was away so she and her Mother faced a rough few years. Mom got a job working at a large department store and in the evenings she played a piano for an orchestra. It was there that she met my uncle, Fred, and when he told my Dad about her it sparked and interest in him.

Pop was a cattle rancher and had recently lost his ranch and wife of 10 years due, primarily to the great depression. Pop soon made his way to Missoula where he met my Mom. It must have been love at first sight. I really donít know the particulars of their courtship as neither one would talk about it when I was growing up. About all I know is that they took off with the two boys and never looked back.

This started the 2nd phase of Momís life. She had gone from a comfortable life to a wealthy one and now living in a tent at various logging camps on their way to, who knows where, in Oregon. I do know that they struggled for several years of the depression. They finally ended up in Bly, Oregon where I was born in 1934.

Life in Bly was much better as they had a house, albeit not much of one as it was just 3-tar paper shacks butted together and only cold water. Water had to be heated in a tank attached to the side of the wood cook stove. None of this seemed to faze Mom though and she adapted to each change in her life just fine. She even moved my Grandmother in with us.

Mom was a great cook and as most ladies in those days, wore an apron over their dress. The aprons primary reason was to protect her dress but these aprons served many purposes, such as wiping away tears from us kids, handling hot pots and pans on the stove, wiping down furniture and of course using it to carry vegetables from the garden. The aprons came in many colors and she always wore the most faded one in her collection but quick to change to a bright clean one when she saw some of the ladies from the Ladies Aid coming up the path. These aprons all had two deep pockets that could hold Kleenex tissues or an assortment of toys like Tinker Toys or Lincoln Logs that I would leave around on the floor. I also remember her caring kindling and pieces of firewood for the cook stove and of course wiping beads of sweat off her forehead while standing over that hot stove. When she and Etta would take a walk behind the house, Mom always came back with a bunch of wild flowers in one of those pockets. I even remember hiding my shy face behind that apron when company visited. I also remember her wiping down the clothesline before she hung the clothes with that endless supply of clothespins from those deep pockets There seemed to be no end to the uses of that apron and Mom wore it most of the time. I think she would have even worn it to church if she thought the other ladies would wear theirs.
One of my favorite memories of Mom and her apron is of the time she went out into the backyard to collect some peaches that had fallen off our peach tree. My Dad had passed away a few years before and Mom was living with us in Fresno at the time. Mom just couldnít see those peaches going to waste and surely she could make something delicious after she had cut off the bruises.

This peach tree was way in back of the house and when she got there she picked up as many as her apron would hold and headed back to the house. We had a small beagle pup, Charlie, in the backyard and he followed Mom around where ever she went. Mom had lost quite a bit of weight after Pop died and as she was walking back, holding up the edges of that loaded apron, her panties let go. Mom was in a quandary, she could drop the peaches or she could just let her panties drop and she would kick them off one foot and drag them back to the porch. This maneuver worked fine for a couple of steps until Charlie decided they were dragging for him to play with. He promptly latched on to those floppy pink things and started a tug of war. Mom was determined to make it back though and after a few steps she kicked them off her foot much to the delight of Charlie. He took off with them in his mouth and raced around the yard with his trophy. Mom let out a yell and without dropping a peach made it to the back porch where I was watching the drama unfold. About this time, Charlie came by and I rescued the panties from his mouth. Mom was laughing like crazy and not too upset that Charlie had absconded with her panties. She said that they were old ones anyway and at least she had saved the peaches.

As I recall, we had a wonderful peach pie that night and of course another memory.

I know that Mom is in Heaven now and I am sure she is wearing a Heavenly Apron and maybe using it to polish all the gold there. That apron must be specially made to fit under the wings that she so richly deserves.